PHEAA will tap surplus for student grants
Pennsylvania college students could receive up to $4,123 in need-based grants next year under the new grant formula the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) adopted Thursday.
The agency that oversees state grant aid to more than 132,000 Pennsylvania students approved maintaining the grant cap at this year’s level for the 2019-20 school year. While $4,123 is the maximum award, grants can vary depending up family resources, tuition levels and the number of applicants.
PHEAA taps profits from its loan servicing business and state subsidies to underwrite grants for Pennsylvania students.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget included a $310.2 million appropriation for the program, which is $36.8 million more than the commonwealth’s 2018-19 appropriation. Agency officials also plan to tap a $30 million surplus from 2018-19. They attributed the surplus to the agency receiving fewer than anticipated applications last year.
“By maintaining the previous year’s award levels, we are able to provide needed stability and predictability as families work to develop their 2019-20 college plans,” said state Rep. Mike Peifer, chairman of the PHEAA board.
PHEAA grant awards are scheduled to be announced next month.
Officials cautioned that individual grants could be recalculated and reduced should the legislature reduce the governor’s recommended appropriation.
Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .